Julia Brom and her father, Ken, react to having their bill paid by Carstar Scola's on Feb. 14.

Lyons Township High School’s choral director Connie Lyda is this year’s recipient of the Mary Hoffman Award for Excellence in Education. 

Conferred by the Illinois Music Education Association at the organization’s all-state conference held last month in Peoria, the award is the association’s highest honor. Award criteria states the nominees must demonstrate excellence in teaching and the characteristics of an outstanding music educator.

In addition to being a musician and educator, Lyda has accompanied the All-State Choir in front of thousands of parents and students for more than 25 years at the Illinois Music Educators Conference. This is her last year at LTHS, as she is retiring from teaching.

“Connie is well known and respected by staff, students and the LT community” said Paula Nardi, Fine Arts Division chairwoman in a press release. “She has been the face of LT choir for so long, the two are synonymous. She has touched the lives of so many, and many owe their love of music and singing to Connie.”

It’s a gift

A Riverside couple got a pleasant surprise on Feb. 14, when the picked up their vehicle at a Brookfield collision repair business and learned that the repair had been paid for.

According to the folks at Carstar Scola’s Collision Center, it’s been tough year for vehicles owned by Ken and Malinda Brom, from a crash involving a drunk driver to a vehicle falling off the lift at a mechanic’s shop.

“This is the circumstance we met the family and ever since we have always wanted to go above and beyond for them,” said Luigi Scola, Carstar Scola’s owner. “Thankfully, this repair was not the product of an accident, but we were still thrilled to surprise them by paying for it.”

It’s the second year of Carstar’s Free Repair February program.

On campus

Rachel Carson, of Brookfield, was among those receiving degrees at the winter commencement ceremony at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio last December. Carson graduated with a Master of Arts degree in biology.

Gina Corona, of Brookfield, was named to the 2019 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Findlay (Ohio) for attaining a semester grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4-point scale.

Brookfield resident Lydia Olson was named to the 2019 fall semester president’s list (4.0 GPA), while Brookfield residents Brittney Paeth and Kyle Paeth and Riverside resident Caden Vais were among those named to the 2019 fall semester dean’s list (3.5+ GPA) at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Jeremy Heer, of Brookfield, was named to the 2019 fall semester dean’s list at Quincy University for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.5.

Brookfield residents Justin Lohmeier (business administration), Jane McLaren, James Taylor (aviation flight management), Megan Troesch (marketing) and Casey Vileta (physics) and Riverside resident Danny Zontos (aviation flight management) were named to the 2019 fall semester dean’s list at Lewis University in Romeoville for attaining semester GPAs of at least 3.5.

Among those named to the 2019 fall semester dean’s list at Elmhurst College were Brookfield residents Kevin Engstrom, Emily Hanna, Brittany Whigam and Laura Furmanski; North Riverside residents Madeline Ackerman and Taylor Schmitt; and Riverside residents Mattia Amodio, Karina Burke, Natalie Pierce and Daniel Somers.

Riverside resident Nicole LaBelle was named to the 2019 fall semester dean’s list at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for ranking in the top 20 percent of undergraduate students in her academic division for the semester.

North Riverside resident Alivia Ranieri and Riverside residents DiAngelo Gonzalez and Sylvia Harvin were named to the fall 2019 semester dean’s list at Augustana College in Rock Island for maintaining at GPA of at least 3.5.

Student artists at Lyons Township High School were recognized for the artwork, winning several awards in recent competitions.

Brookfield senior Mila Matejcek won an Award of Distinction at Elmhurst College’s 21st Annual High School Art Exhibition.

Meanwhile, 38 LTHS artists were recognized at this year’s Scholastic Art Awards, with 17 students and their 25 Gold Key-winning pieces advancing to the national competition in New York.

Among those heading off to nationals are Brookfield senior Daniel Jelinek (Gold Key, painting); senior Beth Lemerand (Gold Key, ceramics and glass); and senior Mila Matejcek (Gold Key, painting and honorable mention in drawing and mixed media). Others recognized at the Scholastic Art Awards were Brookfield senior Donna Guevara (honorable mention, photography) and senior Adalya Rodriguez (Silver Key, photography).

Lyons Township High School sophomore Nate Rulich, of Brookfield, a member of the school’s Model United Nations Club, earned an honorable mention/third place award at the Francis Parker tournament.

Patrick Hickey, of Brookfield and a member of the Lyons Township High School robotics program, was part of Robotics Team 23880E, which won the Fox Valley Vex Tournament where students drove robots the designed, built and programmed using an integrated system of motors, wheels, metal and sensors.

Brookfield residents Cyrus Almanza (construction trades), Jari Bates (nursing assistant training), Michelle Diliberto (emergency medical technician), Destiny James (cosmetology), Ryan Martin (computer science principles), Samantha Ruiz (nursing assistant training) and Julie Sklenar (early childhood education and care) were among the 20 Lyons Township High School students named to the Technology Center of DuPage A-Team for their outstanding achievement in their respective programs.

Brookfield resident Ahmad Ayyeh, a junior at Lyons Township High School, was one of four members of the Congressional Debate Team to win individual awards at the Wheeling High School tournament in January, which featured more than 400 students from more than 20 schools.